Trip Start Aug 07, 2008
79Trip End Mar 23, 2009
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Where I stayed
we arrived at the town of Tuk Tuk around 11pm. Tuk Tuk is a small town located on the peninsula of Samosir Island on Lake Toba. a little background on Lake Toba. this is southeast asia's largest lake. it is actually a crater lake formed from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. and in the middle of the lake is Samosir Island... this island is the size of Singapore.... it take approx 9 hours to drive the circumfrence of it... that's how big the eruption was... it's crazy how many natural disasters indonesia has gone through... tsunamis after tsunamis, volcanoes (active ones) up and down its coasts and down this archipelago, multiple earthquakes and in recent history, terroist bombings... such a suffered place... it's gone through so much in the recent past that tourism has dropped considerably... and it was most evident in Toba. this area is gorgeous.. stunning. there's just something about this place... the people are friendly (all 8 of us got invited to a b-day party where we ate, sang and danced till like 2 in the morning with the locals), the air is clean and refreshing and the town is quaint and perfectly lazy. BUT, sadly (for the locals, and in a lot of ways, awesome for us) there were so few foreigners walking around. a lot of guesthouses were even closed and abandoned. people kept telling us to spread the word about TOBA... they need more tourists. and let me just throw in my little soapbox, "TOBA is amazing!" we could have stayed another week longer... it really was that nice... what did we do... day one, we rented motorbikes and just biked for 3-4 hours like a motorcycle gang on colorful motorbikes. all the guys had their girls sitting behind them while we rode through water buffalos, rice fields, tuk tuks and the never ending pot holes...the roads at times were SO bad. that evening we got invited to a b-day party at Jenny's Restaurant. Jenny and her husband Rinto own this little place with great banana pancakes and roasted chicken... anyways, it was Rinto's b-day so the eight of us showed up. the party started slow but soon enough the locals were singing, dancing and we were all just having an awesome time. Rinto's in a band so they came out and started playing/singing everything from local songs to hotel california and a 5 minute rendition of La Bamba... unfortuneately no one really knew the words so we just repeated the chorus over and over again... didn't really matter, though cuz everyone was into it and for all we knew, that was the whole song... it really was a special night... any time you can hang out with the local people, it is a special day... otherwise we're just tourists skimming the superficial experiences of our destinations : day two... the lot of us ordered a suckling pig for dinner... a WHOLE freakin pig! and Rinto agreed to let me watch as he killed and cleaned the pig.... i woke up super early and met him at this restaurant to prepare wilbur for our dinner that evening... the pig was a 2 month old female about the size of a medium sized dog. i took a load of pics of wilbur being killed, cleaned and slow roasted over a slow fired for 10 hours ( i did not sit there for 10 hours) it was just nice spending the morning with Rinto and his family ... that evening, we ate and ate till we were full to the brim of our mouths... SO MUCH PORK... i loved it! crispy and chewy pork skin, ribs where the meat falls off... even the innards were tasting in some sauce they made using the pig's blood. there was even enough food left over for lunch the next day...
there's is definitely something to Toba.. a friend air that makes you want to stay longer and longer.... if i think about it, we didn't necessarily do much... but sitting at our lakeside cottages ($7/night) or swimming in the pleasantly cool lake, it was a nice change of pace from the hectic southeast asia we've been experiencing...
sadly, we left toba the next morning for a night in medan and the ferry back to malaysia... darn the 7 day visa! we could have stayed longer... indonesia is someplace we would definitely come back to... we've only seen northern sumatra and there's loads of places left like Bali, Komodo, Lombok, Gilly Islands... we will be back!
***i'm not putting pics up right now because i'm late for a ferry to Pulau Langkawi.. i'll post pics of Toba later... so stay tuned!